Weekly Release #9

Upcoming Schedule
Fri-Sat., March 9-10 -- at NCAA Indoor Championships (Fayetteville, Ark.)

This Week: NCAA Indoor Championships
The 18th-ranked University of Michigan men's track and field team will send seniors Jeff Porter (Somerset, N.J./Franklin), Michael Whitehead (East Norristown, Pa./Norristown Area) and fifth-year senior Andrew Ellerton (Sudbury, Ontario/Confederation) to compete in the 60-meter hurdles, triple jump and 800-meter run, respectively, at the 2007 NCAA Indoor Championships Friday and Saturday (March 9-10) at Randal Tyson Track in Fayetteville, Ark. The Wolverines will also send their distance medley relay team of sophomore Justin Switzer (Waterford, Mich./Kettering), sophomore Andre Barnes (West Bloomfield, Mich./West Bloomfield), Ellerton and sophomore Lex Williams (Ann Arbor, Mich./Dexter) to the championships. Ellerton returns for his fourth appearance at the national indoor meet, claiming national titles in the DMR in 2004-05; the rest of the DMR squad will be making their first appearances. Porter and Whitehead will both be making their second consecutive appearances at the indoor meet.

Schedule of Events (Times are CST)

Friday, March 9

4:45 p.m.

800-meter Run (prelim)

5:20 p.m.

60-meter Hurdles (prelim)

8:20 p.m.

60-meter Hurdles (final)

9:35 p.m. 

Distance Medley Relay (final)  

Saturday, March 10

6:15 p.m.

Triple Jump (prelim & final)

6:45 p.m.

800-meter Run (final)

The Road to Fayetteville
Through the indoor season, the Wolverines posted nine NCAA-eligible performances this season -- two automatic and seven provisional marks. Williams led the pack with three individual qualifying standards in the mile, the 3,000- and the 5,000-meter run.
Event (Automatic/Provisional) Name Time/Mark 60-meter Dash (6.62/6.74) Adam Harris 6.71 60-meter Hurdles (7.70/7.91) Jeff Porter 7.70 800-meter Run (1:47.80*/1:49.90#) Andrew Ellerton 1:49.30 Mile Run (3:59.00/4:04.00) Lex Williams 4:01.72 Mike Woods 4:02.14 3,000-meter Run (7:54.00/8:05.00) Lex Williams 7:59.36 5,000-meter Run (13:48.00/14:10.00) Lex Williams 13:49.36 Triple Jump (52-10/50-6 1/4) Michael Whitehead 52-6 3/4 Distance Medley Relay (9:34.00/9:45.70) Michigan 9:33.99
A Breakdown of Michigan's NCAA Events
60-Meter Hurdles -- Coming off a strong indoor campaign with a personal-best performance in the 60-meter hurdles, Porter is primed to compete for the national title in the event. He enters his second-straight NCAA Indoor Championships with the fourth-fastest time of the season, sharing the spot with Auburn's Shamar Sands at 7.70. Porter lists only 0.03 seconds behind Mississippi's John Yarbrough for the fastest time. Last season, the Wolverine placed fourth in the nation.

Triple Jump -- Whitehead will also make his second-consecutive NCAA indoor debut with the fourth seed among the 15-man field in the triple jump behind a new indoor school record of 52-6 3/4. The nation's leader in the event is Muhammad Halim of Cornell with a mark of 53-3 1/4. Whitehead is capable of winning the event, as he was the nation's runner-up last season in the outdoor meet with a school record of 53-11 1/4. At the indoor meet last season, the Wolverine placed 14th with a mark of 50-7 1/4.

800-Meter Run -- Though he is making his first appearance in the 800-meter run at the NCAA indoor championships, Ellerton has competed in the event twice in the past at the NCAA outdoor meet, earning All-American honors in both 2004 and 2005. Ellerton enters the competition with the 18th-fastest mark in the event this season, recording a time of 1:49.30. The race should hold very tight competition as the nation's fastest mark belongs to Shaun Smith of Oral Roberts with a mark of 1:47.80, just 1.5 seconds ahead of the final spot held by Ellerton.

Distance Medley Relay -- After an off season, Michigan's distance medley relay squad has returned to championship form after posting the fourth-fastest time in the nation with a 9:33.99. The fastest time belongs to Texas with a mark of 9:31.27. Switzer, Barnes, Ellerton and Williams look to win Michigan's third title in four years in the event, and U-M's fourth overall. Ellerton was a member of the 2004 and 2005 national title squads, and also earned All-America honors as a member of the third place 2003 team.

NCAA Indoor Championship History
The Wolverines have placed in the top 10 as a team at the NCAA Indoor Championships nine times since the inception of the meet in 1967, including the two of their last three most recent appearances (2004 and 2005). Michigan had its highest finish in 1995, when the Wolverines came in fourth.

Last year, the Wolverines took 37th place (5 points) behind a fourth place performance from Porter in the 60-meter hurdles.

2006 Final Team Standings (Top 10)

 1. Arkansas 53 2. Louisiana State 45 3. Florida State 41 4. Texas 35 5. Tennessee 25 6. Oregon 23 7. Wisconsin 22 8. Baylor 21 9. Florida 20 10. Arizona 18 ---------------------------- 37. MICHIGAN 5 Georgetown 5 Connecticut 5 Michigan State 5
U-M in the Last 10 NCAA Indoor Championships








Jeff Porter (60m Hurdles)




Nate Brannen (800m, DMR), Nick Willis (Mile), Andrew Ellerton (DMR), Rondell Ruff (DMR), Stann Waithe (DMR)




Nate Brannen (800m, DMR), Nick Willis (3,000m, DMR), Andrew Ellerton (DMR), DarNell Talbert (DMR)




Nate Brannen (800m, DMR), Andrew Ellerton (DMR), Seth Waits (DMR), Nick Willis (DMR)


No Score



No Score





Steve Lawrence (5,000m)




Jay Cantin (mile)




Kevin Sullivan (mile, DMR), John Mortimer (5,000m), Jay Cantin (DMR), Dwayne Fuqua (DMR), Don McLaughlin (DMR)




Neil Gardner (55m hurdles), Jay Cantin (DMR), Dwayne Fuqua (DMR), Scott MacDonald (DMR), Don McLaughlin (DMR)

Port Authority
Porter crushed his own school record of 7.7533 in the 60-meter hurdles to win the event with a time of 7.70 at the Alex Wilson Invite (March 2-3). Before this season, the school record was held by Thomas Wilcher, who set the record in 1986. Wilcher's time of 7.76 was converted from a length of 55-meters. Porter ranks fourth in the nation in the event, clocking 7.78 to place third at the Tyson Invite on Feb. 9-10.

Triple Threat
Whitehead landed the longest indoor triple jump in U-M school history at the Meyo Invitational on Feb. 2-3, grabbing an NCAA provisional mark of 52-6 3/4. The previous record belonged to Butch Starmack, who scored a 52-3 1/4 in 1986. Whitehead's mark is the fourth-best in the nation this year. Whitehead also owns Michigan's outdoor triple jump record -- a length of 53-11 1/4 -- which he set at the NCAA Championships last summer; the mark placed second in the nation. His performance earned him Big Ten Men's Field Athlete of the Week honors.

Ellerton's Return
After missing last season due to injury, Ellerton has returned to national competition with a mark of 1:47.80 in the 800-meter run. A two-time Big Ten champion in the event, Ellerton is entering the national meet with great momentum after capturing the provisional mark just last week at the Alex Wilson Invite (March 2-3).

Going the Distance

The Wolverines qualified their distance medley relay team for nationals at the Alex Wilson Invitational last-chance meet (March 2-3). U-M registered the fourth-fastest time in the country and placed third in the event.

Switzer, Barnes, Ellerton and Williams combined for a time of 9:33.99. The performance just surpassed the NCAA automatic qualifying time standard of 9:34.00. Switzer opened the relay, splitting 2:59.00 over the 1,200-meter leg before passing the baton to Barnes, who then clocked a 400-meter split of 46.60. Ellerton and Williams maintained the Wolverines' steady pace, clocking 1:47.20 over the 800-meter section and 4:00.60 during the 1,600-meter leg, respectively.

2007 Big Ten Indoor Championships Recap
Williams and Ellerton captured the 5,000-meter and 800-meter titles, respectively, to lead the University of Michigan men's track and field team at the Big Ten Indoor Championships (Feb. 24-25). With 16 scoring efforts in 13 different events over the weekend, the Wolverines took third place (89 points). The third-place performance marks the fourth-straight season that U-M has placed in the top-four spots at the indoor conference meet. Michigan also won a conference title in the distance medley relay. The team of sophomore/freshman Sean McNamara (Elmhurst, Ill./York), Barnes , Ellerton and Switzer clocked an NCAA provisional time of 9:45.39 to capture Michigan's fourth conference championship in the event in the last six years.

Trackwire Top 25 (March 6)

 1. Wisconsin 46 2. Florida State 43 3. Texas 42 4. Tennessee 30 Auburn 30 6. Stanford 27 7. Florida 25 8. Louisville 24 9. LSU 22 Baylor 22 11. Clemson 20 12. Washington 18 Arkansas 18 Oregon 18 15. Arizona 13 16. Idaho 12 Georgia 12 18. MICHIGAN 11 Providence 11 20. UCLA 10 Northern Arizona 10 Mississippi 10 23. Kansas 9 Oklahoma 9 Northern Iowa 9
Contact: Tim Trunzo (734) 763-4423